Set amid serene, spacious and stunning scenery, Tasmania has plenty to offer potential downsizers keen on carving out a new lifestyle.
Australia’s smallest state offers a welcome relief from the bustle of the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne and more affordable housing options, too.
With a cooler climate, world-class food and wine scene and majestic wilderness, it’s little wonder downsizers are increasingly making a beeline there over the past decade. Here’s why a shift south might be right for you.
Tasmania boasts more affordable housing options compared to other states
House prices have risen across Australia, thanks to record low rates, yet affordable housing options can still be found in Tasmania.
The median price for a dwelling in Hobart was almost $549,000 in March, much less than $928,000 in Sydney, $736,000 in Melbourne and $727,000 in Canberra, according to data firm CoreLogic.
Dwellings in regional Tasmania were also cheaper than elsewhere in regional Australia, with the median price for a dwelling in regional Tasmania almost $367,000 in March, compared to $447,000 in regional Victoria, $429,000 in regional Queensland and $544,000 in regional New South Wales.
Escape the overbearing heat of the north, with mild summers and cool winters
Tasmania has four distinct seasons, with mild summers and cool winters.
Daily average summer temperatures peak at 17 to 23 degrees, while in winter reach a maximum of between three and 11 degrees.
Hobart is also Australia’s second-driest capital city, after Adelaide, but rainfall varies across the island and it’s much wetter on the west coast, helping keep the rainforest lush. Given the weather can turn quickly, it’s always handy to carry warmer clothes and a waterproof jacket.
It's full of natural wonder, with plenty to see and do
From the majestic alpine mountains to ancient rainforests, Tasmania is packed with natural wonders. There are plenty of sea walks along the long, gorgeous coastline as well as forest treks, with more than 2,800 managed walking tracks across the state suited to all abilities.
While Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, it’s also the most geographically diverse, with just under half set aside as national park and world heritage wilderness.
The state also boasts two of the world’s top 100 golf courses and the oldest course in Australia. A fascinating insight into the country’s brutal past can be experienced at Port Arthur, a 19th century penal settlement and best preserved convict site in Australia.
Indulge in the thriving food, wine and cultural scene
Dubbed the apple isle for its apple growing heritage, Tasmania boasts a thriving dining and cultural scene.
Foodies flock here to taste the cool climate wines and renowned regional produce.
If sampling a crisp chardonnay amid rolling hills or a coastal backdrop takes your fancy, try a food and wine trail.
Otherwise, indulge at boutique breweries, distilleries, or even a truffledore in the foothills of the spectacular Cradle Mountain.
Delicious regional fare and super fresh seafood is on offer in the island’s pubs and restaurants, while weekends can be spent strolling through farmer’s markets, Hobart’s popular outdoor Salamanca Market and the gallery at the Museum of Old and New Art.
Where downsizers are settling and why
A steady stream of over 65s migrated to Tasmania from interstate over the last decade. In 2009, 720 people in that age group flocked from interstate to Tasmania, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show. By 2019, that figure jumped to 1130.
If you’re thinking of retiring to Tasmania, Hobart is worth contemplating.
Consider suburbs such as Mowbray or Claremont, with its sweeping views of Mount Wellington and the River Derwent. From here, it’s just a short trip to the centre, where you can spend weekends perusing Salamanca Market, marvelling at the art at MONA or sampling local produce. Stroll the botanical gardens, cruise along the Derwent or take the ferry to Bruny Island.
Launceston, set amid rolling hills of the Tamar Valley in the island’s north, is also a charm with its sweeping valley views and period buildings. Tasmania’s second largest city harbours a strong sense of community and is packed with things to see and do, from galleries to restaurants and museums.
Weather in this riverside city is milder than Hobart. Meander up the gorge to the lake and cruise the The Tamar Valley wine trail closeby. There are plenty of nearby hills and mountains to explore as well as gourmet treasures.
If you can handle the cooler climate, you want to consider the gorgeous Huon Valley as an ideal spot to downsize, with its clean air and friendly locals. The hilly semi rural area begins just outside Hobart and extends to Australia’s southernmost point.
There is plenty to explore, from ambling waterways to beautiful mountains. Award-winning produce is made here, and there are plenty of hiking and wilderness opportunities for keen adventures in this beautiful part of the world.
Meanwhile, St Helens, host to the state’s second largest sea port, is a popular fishing spot. The north east coast town is near the crystal clear water beaches of the Bay of Fires.
It has a relaxed vibe with plenty of eateries and is close to perfect white sandy beaches and spectacular dunes.
Comment from our CEO
Downsizing CEO Amanda Graham said that with its clean air, natural wilderness and rich history, it’s little wonder downsizers are heading south.
“Even with a heated housing market, Tasmania still offers much more affordable options than Sydney or Melbourne, and with its natural beauty and thriving dining and arts scene, it’s an ideal spot for downsizers to consider,” she said.
Downsizing.com.au has Australia’s best range of retirement and downsizing-friendly property - start your search here.